Local stargazers have been urged to marvel at a newly discovered comet which is visible to the naked eye this month – as it will not be coming back for another 6,800 years.
The mountain-sized Neowise comet made its closest approach to the sun on July 3 and is now shining brightly in the night skies.
Dundee’s Mills Observatory asked locals to keep their eyes peeled for the comet in the coming days.
It is expected to pass closest to earth on July 23.
The planet Jupiter is also expected to be visible in the night sky on Wednesday, July 15.
A Facebook post from Mills Observatory on Monday read: “There have been lots of amazing sightings of newly discovered Comet C/2020 F3 (Neowise) recently.
“This comet was only discovered in March 2020 by scientists at Nasa using the Neowise space telescope and is easily spotted with the naked eye.
“Currently it is positioned in the constellation of Lynx, steadily shifting towards Ursa Major and reaching its closest point to Earth on July 23.
“It is not expected to pass near Earth again for thousands of years.”
There have been lots of amazing sightings of newly discovered Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) recently. This comet was only…
Photographer Owen Humphreys captured images of the comet lined up with St Mary’s lighthouse at Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, at around 12.45am on Monday.
He said: “It was a lot brighter than I thought it would be, and you could see it clearly with the naked eye.
“The tail was visible and there was the added bonus of the noctilucent clouds.”
Comet NEOWISE captured (12/07/2020 – 02.15) from Redford ,Angus.Worth taking a look North about 30 degs visible with the naked eye @CometExtra @skyatnightmag @STVWeather @apod @cfds_uk @CanonUKandIE @thecourieruk @EarthandClouds @EarthandClouds2 @universetoday @RobNicholsonCHF pic.twitter.com/aTSm2BB9GM
— michael walton (@mickldd55uk) July 12, 2020
Comet Neowise over Perth, Scotland. It looked so magical, hanging above the city in the early hours of the morning. Lovely to catch a glimpse of this enchanting visitor before it disappears from our skies for thousands of years @The_PA @PerthGazette @BBCStargazing @VirtualAstro pic.twitter.com/bkcWzn4Xld
— Nadine Sabbagh 🪐 (@Deeniebean89) July 14, 2020
📍 Tay Bridge towards Dundee
📸 Craig Doogan Photographer pic.twitter.com/a2LE5tV1om
— Neowise Comet (@NeowiseComet) July 12, 2020
Comet Neowise over Dairsie, Fife tonight. pic.twitter.com/bLqSPKnPGo
— Wulfgar the Bard (@WulfgarTheBard) July 14, 2020
Dr Robert Massey, from the Royal Astrological Society, said Neowise was last in the inner solar system 4,500 years ago and it was not expected to return for another 6,800 years.
He said: “I would encourage everyone to take a look if they can, if they have clear skies, and get away from light pollution if they can.”
Neowise, named after the telescope used to first spot it, should be visible for the next few weeks in the northern skies, near the bright star Capella.
Dr Massey recommended using binoculars to see more detail of the comet’s tail.
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